Workshop Theatre in Ogden this Month

Do you ever wonder how a script makes it on stage? Theatre fans can find out one process, workshop theatre, in two of its forms and two different companies in Ogden this month!

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A workshop production is modestly staged without costume or scenery. The actors are on book, script in hand. The workshopping provides the playwright with a better understanding of how the story runs, as well as immediate audience reaction, sometimes causing sections to be reworked for a better script.

At the beginning of the workshop process is the Wasatch Playwright’s Residency, sponsored by Weber Arts Council, August 5-17. The playwright is NYC graduate student Daniel Rattner, with his play “Better.” Public events are held at the Argo House with a final performance in the Ogden High School Black Box Theater.

August 5 • 4pm:  a reading of the existing script for “Better.”  Argo House

August 9 • 4pm: workshop session. Argo House

August 17 • 3pm: Public reading of the workshopped script. Ogden High School Black Box Theater

All events are free and open to the public.

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“The Jungle” cast members

“The Jungle” cast members

Good Company Theatre NYC theatre professionals are nearing their end of the process, polishing off the latest version of Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle.” Book, music and lyrics by Nathan Dame and Rob Baumgartner, Jr.  Dame and Baumgartner have been working on this musical theatre piece for several years.

Last two shows this weekend! August 9, 10 -  Friday-Saturday at 8 pm, 4pm matinee 10 Aug.



Workshop playwrights Baumgartner and Dame

Workshop playwrights Baumgartner and Dame

Good Company Theatre presents “Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle.”

Book, music and lyrics by Nathan Dame and Rob Baumgartner, Jr.

 How did it happen? How did this whole thing start?

Nathan Dame says, “Rob and I met at the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony, hosted by Goodspeed Musicals in Connecticut, in I think 2013. We were both there working on separate projects, but became friends. And he pitched me the idea of adapting The Jungle while we were there. Then last year, in 2018, we were at the Mercer Colony writing The Jungle, and we finished the first draft of the show in the same house where we met and where Rob first pitched me the idea 5 years before.”

 How did you end up workshopping this in Ogden?

“I was born and raised in Ogden, and graduated from WSU with a BA in Theatre Arts in 2006. I very soon made my way to New York, where I’ve been ever since. Early on I pursued acting and made a living for a while mostly acting in theater and a little bit of television. My main pursuit for the past few years has been writing - plays, primarily. Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle is the first full-length musical Rob and I have written together, and we’ve begun working on our second. I make a living as a musician in theater in New York, conducting musicals, playing piano all over the place, and doing a lot of music notation for various composers and orchestrators while composing and orchestrating my own stuff. My wife is in the photo editing department at Scientific American magazine. We met on the subway and we love to travel. We have two poodles named Bette Davis and Annie Hall.”

Nathan Dame is a writer and music director for theater. He has had plays developed by Roundabout Theatre Company, Portland Center Stage (JAW Fest 2016), The New Group, and Barrow Street Theater. His musical based on Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle has been developed at Goodspeed Musicals and Bucks County Playhouse. Some credits as Music Director include: Off-Broadway: Pretty Filthy (The Civilians, Original Cast Recording); Dying For It (Atlantic Theater Company); Mr. Burns (associate music director, Playwrights Horizons). Regional: Be More Chill (Two River Theater, Original Cast Recording); A Little Night Music (Berkshire Theatre Group); Pump Boys and Dinettes (Geva Theatre). Developmental work at Playwrights Horizons, Ars Nova, Aspen Theatre Festival, among many others.

Rob Baumgartner, Jr. is a New York based composer/lyricist and musical director. His original musicals include: The Jungle (Johnny Mercer Writers Colony, Roundabout Space Jam), Adam Lives (Goodspeed Festival of New Musicals, Johnny Mercer Writers Colony, Baldwin Wallace First Takes, New York Theatre Barn, NAMT, Cap21), Date of a Lifetime (NYMF, New Jersey Rep) Alone World (Lincoln Center Directors Lab, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, West Village Musical Theatre Festival-winner of Best Score), What the Moon Saw (Cap21), Under Construction (NYU), The Hole (St. Clements ’09), Radiant Ruby (Vital Theatre Company ’05) and Lullabies. Rob has served as an assistant to composers Galt MacDermot, Debra Barsha, Rob Reale. Rob is a graduate of the Musical Theatre Writing MFA program at Tisch School of the Arts. Rob is a proud faculty member at Cap21/Molloy College, Wesleyan Univertsity, New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts, and Harlem School.